This post is (dare I say it?) my last post documenting 2014. Phew. Also, future Reed, Asher, and Lila, sorry I missed your monthly post in December. I am sure you totally noticed and were very traumatized and may even be at your therapist's office right now talking about it.
Anyway. We left off on Christmas night and our drive home, wherein me staying awake to drive was basically a miracle. We got home, slept in our beds, then woke up in the morning, unloaded our Christmas stuff and hit the road, Utah bound. Luckily, our morning drive was only 2 hours long. (Also, side note and addendum to my Christmas Top Ten post: we decided to try out audio books with the kids during our drive. We listened to Charlotte's Web on the way to CA and Stuart Little on the way to UT. The books were a big hit and we'll definitely be doing it again.) Once we got to Utah, we got to spend time with Lynnie's family and Mandi, who both had already been in town for a while for Christmas. Kenny's family got to Utah late that night, and we were all there, just waiting for Kayla to get home!
And now, I'll commence the list Long posts go so much better this way:
We tried to go sledding on my birthday, but there wasn't enough snow at Mt. Charleston. So we asked everyone to bring their snow gear so we could go sledding in Utah! On Saturday morning, we spent a few hours sledding in Cedar City. We had SO much fun! I was worried the boys wouldn't really love it (they're not thrill seekers, at all), but they had the best time! They were even brave enough to go down together, without an adult, and they each made a solo trip! After a while sledding together and with Ryan, Reed started sledding with Kody and Asher wanted to make a few trips with me. Reed and Kody liked to see how far they would go, so they'd have Kenny and Ryan or Nick give them a big push at the top of the hill. And I think they set a new mark for the sledders at our hill that day! Hailey joined them for a few runs, too. After going down with Asher a few times, I decided to let Lila try out the small hill. She couldn't decide if she loved or hated it--she loved going fast down the hill, but didn't love when my boots dragged in the snow and shot ice into her face. She started crying and telling me, "Eye! Eye!" (I'm not sure if she meant stuff was in her eye or was actually trying to say ice. Sad either way.)
We have a lot of cute sledding pictures. I need to get a copy of those at some point.
2. Cousin pictures.
My mom always makes matching pajamas at Christmas time. For the last few years, the kids have gotten a numbered shirt to go with their jammies, too. We try to take pictures in these numbered shirts every time we're all together. That's going to be really fun when they're in the their thirties. Anyway, one day we went to the park and attempted to get a few decent group shots. I'm not sure we were exactly successful but we had a fun time! I think the kids' favorite part was when we released them to the playground at the end...
3. We stayed up super late literally every single night to play games after the kids were in bed. We discovered a new favorite, too: Heads Up. One person holds an ipad at the front of the room. Words or phrases (all related to one topic) appear on the screen, and the rest of that person's team has to give clues so the person can guess the word. And, to make things even better, one of the categories requires the rest of the team to act the words out. We all looked like lunatics trying to mime some of the phrases it gave, but it was hilarious. The iPad films you while you're acting, too, so you get to relive the fun. It. Was. Awesome. Seriously one of my favorite games we've ever played.
4. We got to welcome Sister Kay Kay home! Her flight was delayed so we ended up staying at the airport waayyyyy longer than we had planned, and the kids were super antsy, which was a lot of fun, but it was worth it when she walked through the door! We took her to see her sign at Dutchman's (a traditional spot to put a "welcome home" greeting for a missionary), kept her up too late and made her tell us stories, and just basked in her presence.
5. We had second Christmas! The cousins got to do their present exchange, Kayla got to open her gifts (which included a car, a laptop, and a new iphone! Woot), and we all got to open our gifts from my parents. Favorite gifts: my parents gave Lila megablocks building table, which she about died over. They also gave the boys Nerf bows and arrows, which were immensely popular and soon led to many rounds of American Gladiator.
6. Reed made a new BFF. He needs to live next door to Kody, stat. They played together non-stop and had no major issues. They are both into spies, so they played numerous spy games. They played with a calculator together for an entire afternoon. To overhear them talking was hilarious because they were just in their own world.
7. We went to see Christmas lights at the temple. And, while we were there, it started snowing! In St. George. Ryan even got Finn to hold his hand, which was kind of a miracle. The snow was pretty (and super cold) and the kids loved trying to catch it on their tongues.
8. Speaking of the temple--all the adults got to go do a temple session the day after Kayla got home! Being in the temple together is a sacred experience and one we don't get to have often. Our sweet neighbor Hallie (whose family has lived right by my parents for her entire life!) watched all the kids and, when we tried to pay her, wouldn't let us since we'd been at the temple. I was really impressed by that, especially when her mom later told me that Hallie had come up with the idea completely on her own!